Finnish Monopoly Signs Up PlaytechBy: Shirley Spicer, Friday May 21st 2010
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Finland’s Slot Machine Association, Rahaautomaattiyhdistys (RAY), holds exclusive rights to manage gambling operations in the country. It is scheduled to offer online services soon. In order to tie up with a suitable software provider RAY had floated a tender and after completing the process it awarded the contract to Playtech.
RAY was founded in 1938. Today it operates over 19,000 slot machines in more than 8,400 locations across Finland. It also offers 300 club-based casino games and runs the country’s single casino, the Grand Casino Helsinki. In 2009 RAY earned €651 million in revenues. In February 2010 the Finnish Government amended the license issued to RAY, permitting it to offer online gambling services. This is expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2010.
Playtech has been awarded an exclusive four year contract. RAY will offer online casino and online poker through the Playtech software platform. For the online casino games Playtech will offer its EdGE gaming platform. The EdGE platform was developed and owned by Gaming Technology Solutions Limited (GTS). Playtech recently acquired this when it purchased the entire share capital of GTS. Playtech will also offer RAY its mobile gaming capabilities.
Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer of Playtech, pointed out that this successful bidding for the RAY contract was further evidence of the superiority of the Playtech product. Playtech has a history of successes in enabling land-based operators to develop online gaming services in markets that have just gone in for regulation.
Weizer said, "RAY is an extremely experienced operator and very highly respected by Finnish players and the community as a whole. We very much look forward to working with them to develop the important and highly active Finnish gaming market." He added that the unique player management tools offered by Playtech will help RAY in taking its philosophy of responsible and trustworthy gaming to the online domain.
Janne Perakyla, Executive Director of gaming operations at RAY, explained some of the requirements that they were looking for in the software provider. Since RAY is a national online gaming service provider the onus of fulfilling the conditions of the regulatory authority and checking player IDs is all that greater. In addition RAY had its own requirements of gaming selection and responsible gambling. Perakyla said, "Through our formal tender process it was clear that Playtech not only satisfied all requirements but had the best solutions for these challenges." Perakyla was satified that RAY has procured the best Internet gambling solution for its customers. Three factors that he specifically mentioned were a constantly developing gaming selection, the most reliable and safe online service and the best customer support.
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